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Attack of the Blogs, a fear-mongering, blatantly inaccurate Forbes cover story by Daniel Lyons (bugmenot “forbesdontbug” works as a user name/password) paints a grim picture of bloggers as a corporation’s worst nightmare. The Forbes’ article is an example of bad research and worse reporting.
Be afraid. Be Very Afraid: Of Forbes Reporting
Some of the inflammatory statements that show Lyons’ bias:
No wonder companies now live in fear of blogs.
– Many repeat things without bothering to check on whether they are true, a penchant political operatives have been quick to exploit.
– Web logs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective. Their potent allies in this pursuit include Google and Yahoo.

And he goes on, but his bias and invective soon begin to glow neon.
My favorite Lyons paragraph:
“No wonder companies now live in fear of blogs. “A blogger can go out and make any statement about anybody, and you can’t control it. That’s a difficult thing,” says Steven Down, general manager of bike lock maker Kryptonite, owned by Ingersoll-Rand and based in Canton,Mass.”
You mean companies can’t control the message? Control was always an illusion. You mean that customers can talk to other customers publicly and be heard? My, My. What will they think of next.
Heads in the Sand, Butts in the Air
We live in a cluetrain and hughtrain world. Companies that put their heads in the sand will have their butts in the air and bloggers will bite them. But that doesn’t make bloggers evil. Bloggers are customers and companies that don’t listen to their customers will pay the price.
I do blog consulting to Fortune 500 companies and I know, firsthand, that publicly traded companies still want to control their message for fear of impact on stock prices. To their credit, IBM doesn’t moderate comments on their blogs. And Budget is embracing blogging in an enthusiastic way. Will there be mis-steps along the way? Sure thing!
But dismissing bloggers as a bunch of low-lifes with no journalistic standards is just plain silly.
Forbes: you should be ashamed of this article.
Corporate America: wrap your fish in this Forbes cover story. Don’t fall for it.

As Dan Gillmor notes: “Do bloggers sometimes go too far? Of course. But if the best-read bloggers typically did work of the lousy quality shown in the Forbes stories, they’d be pilloried — appropriately so.”
… the Forbes story feeds fear. I have the privilige of working with pretty extraordinary companies that take chances with blogs. I have to give them a counter view (again and again) and I hope a couple thousand bloggers will speak up too.
Hey Daniel Lyons! Got anything to say?
Here are some other articles about corporate blogging that give you a more balanced view:
Online Journalism Review
UPDATE: From an email exchange with a prominent blogger:
He says: You’re helping them sell their magazine….I’m sure they know exactly what they’re doing.
Me: …they’re already selling plenty of copies to their magazine…. you have to call them on stuff like this.